Lance Armstrong: Livestrong Donations Soaring Despite Ban
Lance Armstrong’s ban from cycling for doping may have hurt his credibility with some — but it’s proved a major financial performance enhancer for his Livestrong foundation, according to a tweet he sent his 3.7 million Twitter followers Friday afternoon.
On Thursday night, the seven-time Tour de France winner announced he would end his years-long resistance against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s accusations. He admitted no wrongdoing, however, saying in an online statement that “I am finished with this nonsense.”
On Friday morning, the USADA’s hammer fell. The agency smacked him with a lifetime ban from the sport in which he is — or was — a legend, and essentially deleted 14 years of his career. The USADA said it expects the International Cycling Union, the sport’s governing body, to do the same, but the ICU didn’t make any bold claims Friday.
Thursday night’s news sent Internet users into a state of shock, and many used Facebook and Twitter to rally to Armstrong’s defense. The USADA and director Travis Tygart trended on Twitter and Armstrong’s statement racked up more than 4,000 Likes within half an hour of being posted on Facebook.
The apparent end to Armstrong’s extended saga with the USADA over charges of using performance enhancing drugs has come with a silver lining, though. Here’s the tweet Armstrong posted Friday afternoon:
Thanks to all the amazing
@livestrong supporters worldwide. Donations today were UP25x over yesterdays. Thank you thank you thank you!
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) August 24, 2012
Armstrong founded Livestrong in 1997. It’s stated mission is to “inspire and empower” people affected by cancer. Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996, but he overcame the disease to win cycling’s biggest race seven years in a row.
Those wins may all now be vacated, but Armstrong is far from his sport‘s only star whose reputation has been tainted by doping charges. This excellent New York Times graphic shows just how widespread the problem has been since 1998.
Does the USADA’s ban and Armstrong’s decision to quit fighting charges make him a disgrace — or do his achievements still outweigh everything else? Give us your take in the comments.
Thumbnail image courtesy Flickr, PoweriPics